Abigail Volume 4 is now in full flight

The spread in the TJ
We have launched the fourth volume of our Abigail Massey at McAdam Station stories for children and, so far, her flight has been exciting but wonderfully smooth.

With the official launch event having taken place on Sunday, November 8 at the Station itself, we're off to a very good start.

Okay, maybe it wasn't so smooth, now that I think of it. We scheduled the launch to begin at 1 p.m. A bunch of us got together for a lovely lunch and chat in the Station's lunch counter at noon and had a wonderful time. Until one o'clock rolled around and only eight people had shown up.

Yikes.

Uh oh. Poor Mary, I thought. Here I promised her the excitement of her first book launch and we have all of eight people. Eight very nice people, to be sure. But EIGHT. And the majority of them were friends and family of Mary herself. What are we to do?

the article in the Woodstock paper
I asked Frank Carroll, the Village Mayor, to take those eight fine people on a tour of the Station with the hope that, when they returned, there might at least be a couple more. Then, while they toured, we sweated.

Thankfully, 20 minutes later the room was full and we had more than 40 in attendance. It seems 1 p.m. on a Sunday is a little early for many of our friends in McAdam. They attend church services, which generally last until after noon, then go home for lunch. They don't usually arrive at functions until 1:30 at the earliest, though 2 p.m. is preferable.

Lesson learned. And a wonderful launch it was. Gail Swan, the Restoration Commission President, gave an excellent introduction. Frank himself entertained with his talk, and then it was Mary and me. Well, really, me, then Mary, then me again. Mary gave a wonderful speech about her childhood in McAdam, then read beautifully from her story, "University Bound", in the new book.

I finished by introducing the public premiere of our teaser trailer for the proposed web series, "The Station", which impressed the people in attendance. Just the right way to end things, I thought. Mary and I then sat down to chat with people and sign books. And sign books. And sign books.

That was exactly what I hoped Mary would get to experience: the feeling of sitting at a table, surrounded by people who all wanted you to sign their books.

Awesome.

The Salon cover
The following weekend Mary and I had a wonderful time at Artful Persuasion, an artists' cooperative store in downtown Frederiction. Artful has been a huge supporter of the Abigail books from the start so it was nice to do a joint event that turned out to be so successful. The store was busy the entire time we were there and the customers were all happy and in a spending mood. We had a fun time and sold a lot of books.

Finally, the media has come out in force to support us. First, a local pop music radio station, UP 93.1, interviewed me for its "Uplifting News" piece. I had spoken with radio personality Leesa Steeves last year as well so it was great to get a chance to speak with her again.

Then, the Woodstock Bugle-Observer published a very nice article, with three images, about the new book. The Woodstock 'paper has been wonderfully supportive of our project over the years and we very much appreciate their ongoing coverage.

And finally, a Fredericton writer/photographer named Cara Smith contacted me about an article she was writing for the Saint John Telegraph Journal. Ms. Smith proved to be a fabulous writer and a wonderful photographer. And she blew us all away with a three-page spread in the newspaper's Saturday "Salon" section, featuring not just a wonderfully written, very thorough article on the Station, its history and restoration, as well as on the Abigail books but also a truly impressive collage of photographs, artfully presented in a way that beautifully blended the historical photos with Ms. Smith's new shots. Truly a wonderful surprise and fantastic support of the Station.